Q: ...and why does it cost so flippin much?
Great question! Especially since there are tequilas better than Patron that cost less.
The short answer regarding an under $40 price range for the standard 750ml bottle is: Cazadores, Pura Sangre, Centinela, Arette, or Corralejo
The word "good" is quite subjective. It's also based on experience with tequila too, as anyone who knows anything about tequila in any real way would not say Cuervo, unless they were referencing their Tradicional or Reserva de la Familia, which are the only 2 Cuervo-labeled tequilas they make that are any good.
Patron too, while good (and a bit out of your price range), is often mentioned because they spend more marketing dollars than any other tequila company, and thus when college kids are ready to move up from Cuervo, they often go to Patron as they see it advertised so much, and their exploration stops there. Make no mistake, Patron isn't bad by any means. But you can get better for less.
To get the correct tequila experience, don't drink anything that doesn't say 100% agave (like junk like regular Cuervo or Sauza). These are cheap poorly made tequilas designed to sell to college kids to get drunk. They are only 51% real tequila, and the rest are fillers like corn syrup and grain alcohol (and thus the hangover the next day is born).
The aging has a lot to do with the taste, and generally the longer it's aged, the more expensive, the darker the color and the smoother the flavor. Beware of some cheap ones, however, like Cuervo Black, which gets it's dark color from carmel coloring (caramelized sugar) rather than true aging.
Blanco (because it's totally clear) - no aging
Reposado - minimally aged at least 2 months, but can be up to 1 year
Anejo - heavily aged, minimally 1 year but less than 3 years.
The really expensive ones can even be aged longer than regular anejos, and these are often referred to as ultra anejos.
Also consider how you're going to drink it:
Slammed shots - go for a blanco. Anything else is a waste of flavor and $$
Sipped shots (how I recommend it) - go for anejo only and savor with no salt and a squeeze of lime. Chilled or on the rocks is good as is straight.
Margarita - anejo is a waste, especially if the place isn't using fresh squeezed lime juice. Go for blanco or reposado.
For a killer margarita, do the following:
1. Add 2 oz of tequila to a cocktail shaker with ice
2. juice 1 lime into the shaker
3. add 1 tablespoon agave nectar (looks like honey, made from the same cactus as tequila). Bar syrup works too if you don't want to buy the agave nectar.
4. add 1/4 cup water
Shake and serve over ice for the best margarita you will ever have.
Now you'll notice I didn't call for Triple Sec, Cointreau or Grand Marnier. That's because:
1. They are French, not Mexican
2. They were first added to tequila by a US bartender in Palm Springs to sweeten the flavor for the wives of the Hollywood elite that hung out there at the time.
3. You pretty much never saw them in use in Mexico until they became popular in the US and tourists began to expect it.
Source(s): yahoo answers
Tommy's Tequila Master
Answer by whiskeyman510